31.07.2021, 22:36

Olympics: Jamaica sweep 100m podium, Djokovic leaves with nothing

 
Olympics: Jamaica sweep 100m podium, Djokovic leaves with nothing

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Athletics - Women's 100m - Final - OLS - Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. Gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica celebrates after winning and setting an Olympic Record. (Photo: Pool via Reuters)    

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah blazed to 100m gold on Saturday (July 31), becoming the fastest woman alive as she denied compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce a third Olympic title.


In retaining her title Thompson-Herah added a sparkling flourish to a day which had seen US gymnast Simone Biles withdraw from two more finals in Tokyo, and a listless Novak Djokovic fail to take bronze in tennis after his dream of a “Golden Slam” was dashed.

Thompson-Herah led a Jamaican 100m podium sweep with Shericka Jackson in third. The champion’s blistering 10.61 seconds time has only ever been battered by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, who set a world record of 10.49 in 1988.

The setbacks for stars such as Biles and Djokovic have been in a way fitting for the improbable Games, taking place without spectators amid a widening pandemic. Minutes after his singles defeat, Djokovic withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze match.

Swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel recovered some lost luster for America, while Lyu Xiaojun took gold in men’s weightlifting, bringing China’s haul in the medal tally to 21. Japan have 17 golds and the United States are at 16.

In the first instances of doping at the Games, two sprinters, Kenya’s Mark Otieno and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, were provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substances.

American BMX racer Connor Fields was moved out of intensive care after suffering a brain bleed during his horrific crash a day earlier. Originally one of the big favourites for gold, Fields went down hard in a first-corner crash during the semi-finals.

TOUGH RUN

Djokovic, who won a singles bronze medal in Beijing in 2008 but has failed to earn a place on the podium at London, Rio and now Tokyo, withdrew from the mixed doubles minutes after his defeat by Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in the singles bronze match.


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Tennis - Men's Singles - Bronze medal match - Ariake Tennis Park - Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during his bronze medal match against Pablo Carreno of Spain. (Photo: Reuters)

On Friday, the Serbian lost to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the singles semi-finals, killing his hopes of winning an Olympic gold plus all four Grand Slams this year for a ‘Golden Slam’.

His withdrawal from the mixed doubles means women’s world number one Ash Barty and John Peers bag a bronze medal for Australia.

In swimming, Ledecky and Dressel added to their medal haul and took some sting off what has been a disappointing Games so far for the US swim team, whose eight golds are just half their tally from Rio.

Ledecky, who lost her 200m and 400m titles to Australia’s Ariarne Titmus before beating her in the 1,500m, on Saturday became the first female swimmer to win six individual golds, cruising home in the 800m.

World champion Dressel stormed to the 100m butterfly title in world record time, picking up his second individual gold to add to the gold he won in the 4×100m freestyle relay.

Britain won the Olympics’ inaugural mixed 4×100m medley relay for their fourth swimming gold delivering a world record time. Britain’s four golds in the pool marks their best return in the swimming events for more than a century.

Quach Thi Lan, the last Vietnamese athlete competing in Tokyo, has become the first Vietnamese runner to have qualified for athletics semis at the Olympics, after finishing the women’s 400m hurdles heat with her personal best of 55.71 on the day. The Vietnamese athlete will compete against 23 other rivals for the top eight places to the final next Monday.


Reuters

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